January 3, 2016
A domain name is the major foundation for any online business. The domain name used for your business can go a long way to painting you as an expert at what you do or making you look like an amateur that people will be worried about dealing with. Which business would you patronize if you are in need of pancakes, one that says pancakes.com or one that says online-pancakes-store.biz? The average Internet users won’t bother typing the second one into their address bar!
Here are tips to help you avoid making mistakes when registering your domain name:
Don’t Make the Decision on a Domain Name Too Quickly
For a business, you are most likely making a mistake if you buy the first domain name that comes to mind. There is a high chance you will regret it later. Instead, draw up a list of names and carefully analyze each one.
Don’t Use a Limiting Domain Name
In the early days of your business, you may be tempted to use a domain that will box you into a corner in terms of reach. When your business grows in future, you will find out that you have short-changed yourself. Going back to our pancakes example, an individual that registers pancakes.com or pancakes.food has greater potential reach than one that registers pancakesseattle.com. The latter will enjoy some local SEO benefits in the short term but in the long run they will have to find a new domain if they want to expand into other parts of the country. Finding a new domain could mean restarting SEO efforts from scratch.
Don’t Shy Away from Premium Domains
According to Umbrellar a leading domain registrar, business owners shy away from paying a premium for their domain name. This is counterproductive as that one-time cost can offset marketing costs years into the future. Registering pancakes.com may have been costlier than the standard $50 for domains at the time. However, the owner would continue to save money on marketing as the name is easy to remember, highly targeted and specific. Registering marysgroceriesandcakes.com for example may be cheap but you will most likely need to spend a lot of money on advertising. When you consider the costs of standard advertising, you will understand why premium domains that make you a leader in the industry are so valuable.
Don’t Ignore a Name if it Is Taken
Even when the ideal name is taken, consider contacting the owner to see if it is for sale. If it is, negotiate an affordable price.
Don’t Ignore Possible Trademark Conflicts
If you take a domain name that is in direct conflict with a registered trademark you can find yourself dealing with lawsuits. If you are found guilty, you will most likely be hit with damages that could put you out of business even before you have started
Don’t Get a Domain That Doesn’t Match Your Business or Industry
This is a common mistake by people that name their companies first before checking if there is a domain available for it. It is important to consider a name for your business alongside a domain name. When your domain is different from your business name, you will confuse potential customers and your sales figures will suffer.
Don’t Ignore Keywords in Your Domain Name
Going back to that pancakes example, the keyword there is pancakes. The owner of the domain was fortunate enough to find that single word available at the time of registration. This however doesn’t stop a new pancakes business owner from adequately researching pancakes related keywords and using it in their domain name. Using the right keywords in your domain name will be beneficial for your SEO campaign.
Don’t Use a Domain Name That Is Difficult to Spell or Voice Out
If you use a domain that is difficult to voice out, it will be hard for you to take advantage of word of mouth advertising. Similarly, domains that are hard to spell will leave room for lost traffic as a result of misspellings. The average web user is impatient and you have to be offering something unique for them to bother finding the right spelling when they get it wrong at the first time of asking.
Don’t Ignore Obvious Typo Variants of Your Domain Name
When your business grows to the level you want, some people will undoubtedly want to take advantage of your success. They will register misspelled variations of your domain name and feed off traffic that will come through it. Therefore, if your domain name is pancakesateight.com for example, consider securing pancakesat8 and pancakesatate.com as well; not the best example, but you get the idea.
Don’t Use Strange Words If You Are Not Sure of the Meaning
Your domain name should reflect the image of your business. However, there have been many examples in the past of individuals that made the mistake of using names that they made up and felt good about, only to discover the names were swears or lewd in other languages. If you makes this mistake, your brand will be shooting itself in the foot.
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